The secret side of HK: an underwater oasis

The secret side of HK: an underwater oasis

Discover a whole world beneath the waves, as YP cadet Kira Lai tells you what to look for, and where to find it
Junior Reporter
Sassy yet classy. Kira loves chilling around with friends and eating cookies!


Where to look: Hoi Ha Wan

Starfish are found on the sand in shallow water. Even though you may be tempted to touch them - they look like Patrick from Sponge Bob - don't disturb them or move them.

Sea urchin

Where to look: Bak Ma Tsui, Sai Kung

Sea urchins live in shallow water near the sea shore or beside coral, so you don't have to dive deep to see them. However, do not touch them for any reason, because their spines have venom and can really hurt, even from just a scratch.

Sea cucumber

Where to look: Bak Ma Tsui, Sai Kung

Sea cucumbers can be found nearly everywhere on shallow sea beds. Most sea cucumbers in Hong Kong are black. You can dive in to feel their slimy texture but please don't take them home for your dinner!

Ghost (glass) shrimp

Where to look: Bak Ma Tsui, Sai Kung

Ghost shrimp live in the same place as Nemo - in sea anemones. They have a transparent, glassy body, and can only grow to a maximum of about five centimetres so they can be quite difficult to spot!


Where to look: Bak Ma Tsui, Sai Kung

Crabs mostly live in rocky areas; they camouflage themselves as stones to hide from predators.

Stony coral

Where to look: Hoi Ha Wan or Sai Kung

Hoi Ha Wan is the best place to see stony coral; there are more than 60 varieties of the coast of Hoi Ha Marine Park. However, don't expect the coral to be colourful, because they look dull and dead.

Soft coral

Where to look: Hoi Ha Wan or Pak Ma Tsui, Sai Kung

Soft coral fills the ocean with an array of colours - red, orange and green among others. Soft coral floats with the waves, and watching it move is really relaxing.

Eagle ray

Where to look: Pak Ma Tsui, Sai Kung

Eagle rays spend most of the time hiding on the seabed. It is very difficult to see their entire body, but if you look closely, you can see their eyes peeping out from the sand or their long tail moving along the seabed.

School of fish

Where to look: Pak Ma Tsui, Sai Kung

You might have seen a school of fish on TV, but did you know you can join them? Most of the fish in Hong Kong are only the size of your pinky finger, but their synchronised movements are the same as bigger fish.

Clownfish (Nemo)

Where to look: Hoi Ha Wan

Trying to find Nemo? Head to the sea anemone! Clownfish and sea anemones help each other. The anemone shelters the clownfish, whose waste feeds its host.

Blue Tang fish

Where to look: Hoi Ha Wan

It's Dory! The Blue Tang fish lives in soft coral, and they also help each other out. The fish eats the algae on the coral to keep it healthy, and the coral shelters the fish.


Where to look: Bak Ma Tsui, Sai Kung

Seahorses live around coral reefs and seaweed; so they're hard to spot. But if you're lucky, you will find them floating around the sea looking for food.

We all know how beautiful Hong Kong can be. With rolling hills, great hiking places, plus a stunning skyline, this city has it all. Dive just under the waves, and you find yet another breathtaking world of wonders right at your fingertips. But if you do go diving, be sure to look and not touch as you explore ocean life off the shores of Hong Kong.

... and just for fun: 

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Underwater exploration


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